Mr. Azim Premji Does It Again…

Mr. Azim Hashim Premji, the Wipro‘s billionaire founder has recently given away half of his stake in the company for charity. In an earlier blog-post, “We Need More People Like Azim Premji“, he had stated: “I am committed to transferring more of my wealth to scale up the endowment of the foundation.”  And, he has done it again… by giving away additional 18 per cent of his stake in the company for charity, thus earmarking a total of 39 per cent stake (worth Rs 53,284 crore) for a charitable trust. He had earlier transferred 21 per cent of his stake.

Mr. Azim Premji. Photo Source: IBN Live

Mr. Azim Premji. Photo Source: IBN Live

The trust supports various social causes through ‘The Azim Premji Foundation‘ and ‘Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives’.

Mr. Premji is driven by the conviction that economic value is sustainable only if created on a foundation of ethics and responsibility and strongly believes that corporations should play a more significant role in contributing to building a better society.

I earnestly hope that more and more corporations will follow the example set by Mr. Azim Premji and will take the road, thus far, less travelled…

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Saluting Aniket and Monali for their Honesty…

Honesty in poverty: Slum kids find, return bag with Rs 80,000“, a story carried on its front page by The Times of India’s Sunday Times, Noida/Ghaziabad edition of December 7, 2014.  The story is about two schoolkids, Aniket Bhoir, 12, and Monali Adari, 11, who live in Ambika Nagar, a slum in Bhiwandi, Mumbai and study in a nearby municipal school in class VII and V respectively. The parents of both the kids are from a very humble background. The duo while returning from school found a bag containing Rs 80,000, a huge sum, traced its rightful owner, a retired teacher, with the help of their parents and returned it.

Monali and Aniket

Monali (L) and Aniket (R): Photo courtesy – The Times of India

“I am happy that my daughter and her friend chose to be honest,” said Monali’s proud father. The act of honesty was highly appreciated by the locals, public representatives, and their teachers. Both the children were also felicitated by the president of the civic body.

The young children could have kept the bag along with the money with themselves. The poor parents could have shared the huge sum found by their children and utilized it for some other purpose. But they did not do so. Instead, they decided to act with honesty and returned the bag to its rightful owner.

Honesty, what does it mean? Why do people like to conduct themselves with honesty? Honesty means devotion to telling the truth, faithfulness to high moral standards, and ethical conduct. Honesty is a quality of being fair and truthful. Honesty is a value and values need to be inculcated among young children in their childhood. When we conduct our lives in alignment with the values, we attain within a state of calmness, tranquility, and peace. And, this state of being is nothing but happiness. On the contrary, when we conduct our lives in contradiction with values, we experience pain or unhappiness. In addition, we build our character by being honest. Trust and respect in friendships/relationships are outcomes of honesty as we repose trust and give respect to those who are honest. We also like to associate with people who are honest. No wonder, honesty is always the best policy.

I appreciate and salute the honesty displayed by Aniket and Monali.  I also salute their parents and teachers for inculcating value of honesty.

Bravo Aniket and Monali…You have set an example for other children by your honesty…Well done…We are proud of you…

Being Ethical…

Ethics  has its roots in the Greek word ‘ethos’ which means customs, conduct, or character. Ethics are closely linked with values and morals. Values are the prime motivations and influence our behaviour. Values are at the core of ethics. Morals help us differentiate between right and wrong and are influenced by  our values.  A person who is just and driven by the ‘fairness’ value will behave with people in a fair and straightforward manner. Thus, our values manifest in our behaviour, conduct and character.

Ethics

Ethics

An ethical person is just and honest, respects and serves others, and acts in the best interest of the society. So, to be an ethical person, we need to check persistently as to whether we are conducting ourselves in a just, honest, and respectful manner and making decisions for the good of the people. The Center for  Business Ethics at Bentley College has developed six questions, as given below, to evaluate the ethics of a specific decision (Cited in Leadership by Andrew J. DuBrin, p. 176-177):

  • Is it right?
  • Is it fair?
  • Who gets hurt?
  • Would you be comfortable if the details of your decision or actions were made public in the media or through e-mail?
  • What would you tell your child or sibling or young relative to do?
  • How does it smell?

It is worthwhile quoting here Aristotle (384-322 BCE)the great Greek philosopher, who said centuries ago that:

“We are what we repeatedly do…

(Wo)men acquire a particular quality by

Constantly acting a particular way —

You become just by performing just actions,

Temperate by performing temperate actions,

Brave by performing brave actions.” 

We become ethical when we perform ethical, moral and values-driven actions, which eventually shape our character and in turn our destiny.

Be ethical…